On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the National Transportation Safety Board issued their final report on the pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA, that occurred on Sept. 9, 2010. A 30-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) ruptured in this residential area, killing eight people.
Extreme economic hardships for many municipalities are pushing some cities to consider extreme actions – such as the rarely occurring municipal bankruptcy. Consider the case of Birmingham/Jefferson County, AL.
The search for the cause of the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion in 2009 that killed eight people has taken a new twist. On June 9, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a report from their hand-picked Independent Review Panel. This was a group the CPUC assembled ostensibly to get to the bottom of the San Bruno explosion.
Increasingly, horizontal directional drilling contractors come from every walk of underground construction life. Gas and oil pipelines, telecom, electric and gas distribution were the early adopters of the technology. But as the rigs and affiliated add-ons/complimentary equipment evolved, other underground niches have steadily became believers in the technology.
When considering the condition of America’s underground sewer and water infrastructure, there are several constants. For those in the know, the word ‘failing’ tops the list, closely followed by a perpetual dearth of funding.
At the 2011 edition of the annual Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) held in January, a different mentality and perspective was apparent among both the attendees and many of the exhibitors.
Underground Construction’s 14th Annual Municipal Sewer and Water Infrastructure Survey appears this month. While compiling and writing the report each year is always extremely interesting and revealing, I found this year’s survey to provide a particularly telling insight into the municipal market.
In this issue, Managing Editor Rita Tubb provides a round-up of oil, gas and product pipeline construction currently under way or projected around the world. It’s a reduced number, as expected, compared to recent years. However, it is a very realistic number as the “pipe-in-the-sky” projects that are inevitably thrown about during boom times have been dropped. The remaining projects are considered solid with a strong chance of coming to fruition. The numbers lead us to anticipate a reasonably healthy pipeline market going forward.
The Construction Writers Association (CWA) recently named Underground Construction Editor Robert Carpenter as winner of the 2010 Boger Award for the year’s best editorial. He was honored for his editorial that appeared in the August 2009 issue titled: “The Price Of Free Money.” He received the award at a special dinner during the CWA’s annual convention in Chicago.